You Need an Accountability Partner. (Or a Punch in the Nose.)


My friends, I’m willing to bet that there’s something important you want to do.


Problem is, you’re just not doing it.

Isn’t that frustrating?Bucks Carl Sketch Jumbo

It certainly has been in my life.

In fact, I’ve found it so frustrating that I created a game to help. Life Priorities On Arrow Signs Balance Important Things

It’s called “Punch You in the Face.”

Here’s how you play.

1. Come up with “Your Thing.” It’s critical to understand that you get to decide what Your Thing is — not the internet telling you to drink grass for breakfast, not bosses with their stretch targets and not your spouse or bossy younger sibling. You. It’s your thing. Only you know what the thing ought to be.

2. Find someone you love and trust, and share the thing with them. Then, commit to getting something tangible done in the next week.

3. At the end of the week, reconnect and have that person ask you if you did your thing. If you did, you get a high-five. But if you didn’t? This person punches you in the face.

4. Repeat Steps 1 to 3.

Great game, right? 

Look, I’m not the punching type.

I don’t actually want people punching one another in the face.

Just think of the punch as a metaphor for accountability.

When was the last time you faced a serious consequence for not doing Your Thing?

If you’re honest, and you’re like me, the answer is probably never.

So, it’s time to switch things up.

The punishment is not important.

What is important is that we make ourselves more accountable for doing the things we say we want to do.


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Carl Richards is a Certified Financial Planner and a columnist for the New York Times, Morningstar magazine and Yahoo Finance. He is author of 2 books, The Behavior Gap & The One-Page Financial Plan. Carl lives with his family in Park City, Utah. You can find his work and sign up for his newsletter (which has an international audience) at

'You Need an Accountability Partner. (Or a Punch in the Nose.)' have 1 comment

    Avatar for Carl Richards

    July 20, 2018 Benjamin Loveday

    Are you allowed to duck to avoid the punch in the face?


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